In my last post, Susan shared her realization that she was the key to fixing her husband. That meant, not fixing him but looking at what she needed to change about herself. What helped her realize this was an online support group of Vietnam wives and therapy. Here’s Susan:
I was in an online group for Vietnam wives, trying to find out how I could fix my husband and I noticed over time, that a certain group of these women were way better off than the rest of us. They were much healthier in their thinking and their lives than the rest of us. They were all in Al Anon. They would talk about it and what they had learned about how to approach people in an adult way so your relationships are between equals. They had learned that it was not about,
“I’m trying to fix you,” or
“I’m trying to get you to rescue me,” or any of that manipulative interaction between people.
That got me thinking. My ex hardly drinks so I thought Al Anon probably wouldn’t be a good choice but I found this other group called CoDA (Co-Dependents Anonymous) and it’s just wonderful. The whole point of the group is you don’t use other people to fix your past. You are responsible for taking care of your own self because that’s your responsibility. If someone needs your help and you want to help them, that’s a whole other thing than chasing people around going, “I wanna help,” trying to do their thinking for them because you think most people can’t take care of themselves.
I can say things like,
“I stayed with this guy for 22 years because I thought I could fix him,” and they say,
“Oh yeah, I get that,” instead of, “Man, are you crazy?”
It was hard to go there the first time. I had only been separated for six months and I was in the first phase of doing whatever I could to get healthy. That first day, I just thought I’d go and if it was too weird, I’d leave but it had a really good feeling to it, immediately. There was a lady there who reminded me of me in the story she told. She was clearly on her way to being pretty well put together so that attracted me.
It’s been almost five years now and I’m still with that group. We’re friends and that’s been a real blessing.
I’m just so happy now. Since before I started in therapy, there was no path that I could see and then all of a sudden, it was likes pebbles in the moonlight, showing me a path. It’s just been like that and I can’t account for why it became so clear to me when it did but now I just have to get quiet, stop trying to control things and I can see where I’m supposed to go next.
The Divorce Coach Says
“…. pebbles in the moonlight,” – I love that visual. It’s so descriptive and brings a very peaceful image to my mind. It reminds of something that Sally said when I interviewed her – she didn’t have a plan when she left her husband, she didn’t know what she was going to do but with hindsight she says, you have to trust that you jump off a cliff and there’s going to be some safety net. The pebbles in the moonlight are the safety net.
It may take some time to work out your plan but you don’t need to have everything worked out before you make a decision. You have to trust in yourself, that you have it within you to find your way.
When did your pebbles in the moonlight appear? Where did they lead you?
Photo Credit: ShironekoEuro at Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/shironekoeuro/4389979065/